Max King expected to play, Brad Hill mourning a family loss

Max King should be fine to play for St Kilda against Adelaide this week despite a back injury, according to Saints coach Brett Ratten, who also revealed Bradley Hill has been mourning the loss of his grandfather.

Bradley Hill and the beleaguered Saints will play in Cairns this week. Credit:Getty Images

Hill has been under intense scrutiny for his performances in the Saints’ underwhelming season so far, and left the training track early on Thursday to watch his grandfather’s funeral online.

“His grandfather passed away the Friday night before we played North Melbourne,” Ratten said.

He did not indicate Hill would miss Saturday’s match.

The former Hawthorn and Fremantle player had previously returned home to Western Australia to visit family in April, in what the club said was a pre-planned trip.

Meanwhile, King is looking good to play against the Crows in Cairns on Saturday.

The coach said King had been working to deal with the scrutiny his performances have received this year.

“He’s a player that’s going to keep getting to good spots and giving himself a chance,” Ratten said.

“On the weekend it will be [about] how many contests he can influence.

“He doesn’t have to mark the ball, he just has to keep making sure he’s getting to as many contests as he can.

“I think then he will influence the game.

“It’s a high-performing industry, you’re a professional athlete, and you want to perform, but you can get the balance wrong.

“Every player has these challenges about making sure it’s a balanced approach and you want to be driven.

“But the outside pressure is probably higher on him as a second-year player than probably most.”

Midfielder Dan Hannebery has had another injury setback, picking up a calf injury last week. He had been close to returning.

“He has got to a point where he has done a fair bit of work, we are going to build him up slowly … you just feel for him. He is persisting with everything, I think it will turn,” Ratten said.

Ratten also said the Saints had not been doing any more goalkicking training this week than they normally would, after inaccuracy cost them against the Swans in round 12.

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